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Learning from Cyclone Nargis - Investing in the Environment for Livelihoods and Disaster Risk Reduction


About this resource

Resource type:Research, reports and studies
Keywords:Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, Disaster risk reduction, Disasters, Environment, Livelihoods
Agency:UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
Author(s):Nizar, M.
Date published:June 2009

Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008, making landfall in Ayeyarwady Division, approximately 250 kilometres (km) southwest of Yangon. A category 3 cyclone, Nargis affected more than 50 townships, mainly in Yangon and Ayeyarwady Divisions, including Yangon, the country’s largest city. Strong winds and heavy rain caused the greatest damage in the Ayeyarwady Delta, where a storm surge compounded the impact of the cyclone. Nargis was the worst natural disaster in the history of Myanmar. More than 140,000 people were killed, mainly by the storm surge.
Cyclone Nargis caused devastating damage to the environment of the Ayeyarwady and Yangon Divisions, an area where local livelihoods are heavily reliant on the natural resource base. Cyclone Nargis destroyed 38,000 hectares (ha) of natural and replanted mangroves, submerged over 63 percent of paddy fields and damaged 43 percent of freshwater ponds.


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